The nerves
The fresh feeling that doesn’t last the first hour
The seatbelt that must have housed a really skinny Minnie before me
The free newspaper smell
The novelty of crappy airline magazine
The spring loaded pocket
The we aren’t moving
I can still use my phone ‘I’m on a plane!’
The safety bit (I won’t listen, I’m in denial)
The safety bit (I feel like I’m at school so I’ll appear to listen yet will secretly think about rude things)
Phones off. Oh no!
Moving slowly
Like a car
Slowly round, then the bloody hell acceleration
Going up
Sucking sweets with fury
Mesmerising view
Like a child
Or the first time
My legs jiggle involuntarily
I grip a hand (anyone will do)
The plane levels
The anxiety eases
Food smells so soon
High heels start marching
Pounding the plane carpet
The bright sun above the layer of white
Like a perfect day that is always there yet rarely seen
Like heaven to a child
Feeling on holiday with constant sunshine
Perfect yet nasty food wrapped in perfect yet nasty plastic
The leftovers from the 1950s – impeccably made up waitresses and beautiful waiters
With neck scarves (who wears those now besides these high fliers)
The tiny round windows with frost on the inside
The wind (am I the only person who suffers from aeroplane wind?)
The luxury of back-to-back films
What to watch first?
The comfort of Big Bang Theory
The knee ache
The elbow ache
The lull of the engine
The excitement of a film that is still in the cinema (even when it is crap)
Sleepy yet no sleep
The extra production of snot (see point above re. wind)
Tiny swoosh toilets that smell of old men’s wee
Metal cabinets
The 24-hour day that follows you
The glint of sunlight on the wing
The steadyness
Bumpiness when you’re trying to eat like those scouts on Jim’ll Fix It
The morning people who look like death
The middle bit (five hours plus)
The drag
The boredom
The what ifs
The hypnotic phase I won’t remember
Then I’m conscious
The hell which is 2 hours 55 minutes to go
The map
I LOVE the map
The stats: altitude 12,191 meters, time to destination 1.24, headwind -15mph, outside air temperature -67F, distance travelled 3,909 miles, distance to destination 921km, ground speed 524mph, altitude 39,000ft, distance to destination 584 miles
The little plane inching at 550mph passing towns with interesting names (such as New York)
The smelly feet
The chance to read for 8 hours yet I never do
Eating when told
The trays
The person in front of you leaning as far back as they can (they always do to me)
Wondering about the lives of the other passengers (is this their first time?)
The anxiety (yes, I even secretly like that)
The pull-down window blinds that remind me of my childhood Fisher Price plane
The historic sick bag (are they ever used?)
Earphones that hurt like hell
Nearly there
Not yet
Constant thirst
Yet free wine!
Food again?
Another film?
The boredom
And anticipation
Jostling in my emotions
The journey as adventure, the philosophy of motorcycle maintenance
Plastic cups
Sleeping people with mouths agape
Crinkly pillows
Slippers and tooth brushes
Thin pointless blankets
The between nations feeling
The lawless feeling
Yet you must behave or risk coming straight home
That would be embarrassing
The culture of the airline (Korean Air loves Mr Bean, United Airlines The Big Bang Theory)
The really nearly there
Gentle bleeps
Eating polo after polo to stop the ears
Prepare for landing
I need a wee
Floating through clouds
Suck a mint or seven
My legs involuntarily jiggle
Swing sideways
Suddenly land takes you by surprise
Phones on
Facebook withdrawal
Scroll, text ‘I’m here’
Update ‘I’m here!’
Takes ages to get off
I can’t wait to do it again
First, sleep

Free wine